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How Often Do Dogs Need Dental Cleaning?

This graphic has a picture of a dog's mouth. There is a deep green overlay on top of the image with a title that reads, "How Often Do Dogs Need Dental Cleaning?"
Dr. Rick Coufal, DVM

Dr. Rick Coufal, DVM

Dr. Rick Coufal is the founder and lead veterinarian for Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic. Coufal graduated from State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in May of 2000.

Your pet’s oral health plays a vital role in their overall well-being. Just like us, dogs can have dental problems. While cavities are less common, your furry friend can experience many dental issues, such as broken teeth, mouth infections, and periodontal disease. Pet dental care ensures that your dog has no painful problems with their teeth and gums. That is why your pet must have regular dental care to keep them healthy and happy for years.

At Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic, we are your go-to vet in Colorado Springs. Our compassionate veterinarians provide expert dental care for dogs. No matter if your furry friend needs dental surgery or routine cleaning, Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic makes sure your dog has the highest quality dental care.

Want to learn more about how often dogs need dental care? Keep reading to discover more about your pet’s oral health!

A picture of a dog's mouth with their teeth exposed.

How Often Do Dogs Need Dental Cleaning?

How often your dog should have their teeth cleaned depends on a few factors, such as age, lifestyle, and breed. In general, your dog should have their teeth cleaned at least once a year.


Older dogs tend to have more problems with their teeth compared to younger ones. As your pet ages, they are more likely to have tooth decay and gum disease. Making sure your dog has great oral health starting from a young age is the best way to catch and treat any problems early on.


Similarly, your dog’s lifestyle impacts their oral health. Dogs that eat a grain-based diet may require more frequent cleaning because food can get stuck in their teeth. As a result, plaque and tartar can form.


Smaller breeds of dogs also require more routine dental cleaning than larger dogs. Small dogs commonly have more problems with their teeth, such as overcrowding and shallow gums. Small dog breeds can also have jaw problems, which can lead to dental disease if their teeth are not treated properly.

When Should Dogs Get Their Teeth Cleaned?

It is necessary to keep up with your furry loved one’s teeth to keep their mouth healthy! Every year, your dog should have their teeth cleaned starting between the ages of two and three years old. Smaller dogs especially should have their teeth examined no later than two years of age.

According to veterinary research, 80% of dogs have some form of periodontal disease by two years of age. Even if your pet isn’t showing any signs of tooth decay or jaw problems, it is still a great idea to take them to your veterinarian to check for hidden dental issues. Your pet’s doctor will perform a detailed exam and take veterinary x-rays to ensure your pet is in healthy shape.

A picture of a dog getting their teeth cleaned.

Signs of Dental Problems in Dogs

Dental problems are not always obvious. Your dog may not show signs of pain or dental discomfort. That is why routine oral care is crucial for your pet. However, if you do notice unusual behavior from your dog, signs of dental problems include:

  • Bad breath
  • Excessive drooling
  • Pawing at mouth
  • Resistance to having mouth touched
  • Dropping food while chewing
  • Decreased interest in food
  • Swelling of the face or mouth
  • Visibly loose teeth
  • Slow chewing

What Does Dog Dental Cleaning Include?

Your dog’s teeth will be cleaned according to their specific dental problems and needs. Your veterinarian will put together a comprehensive treatment plan to keep your pet healthy. While the dog dental cleaning process includes your pet going under anesthesia, lab work will also be completed to make sure your pet is healthy before their cleaning. 

Just like our dental cleanings, your pet’s doctor will remove the buildup of plaque and tartar from your dog’s teeth. Their teeth are then polished and additional problems will be addressed. Once the cleaning is complete, your pet will be woken up and monitored until they can come home safely. 

At Home Dental Care For Dogs

If you are looking for ways to keep your dog’s teeth healthy at home, there are lots of ways to do so! Brushing your pet’s teeth is an effective way to keep their teeth and gums clean. Also, there are many dental care products for dogs, such as dental chews and treats that help to remove plaque.

If you have questions on what types of dental products are best for your dog, make sure to talk with your veterinarian about how to keep your dog’s mouth clean at home!

A picture of a dog getting their teeth brushed.

Clean Your Dog’s Teeth With Dental Care Services From Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic

Keeping up with your dog’s teeth is essential to maintain their overall well-being! Just like us, pets can have teeth problems that cause them pain and discomfort. That is why it is necessary to ensure your dog has good oral health to keep them happy for years to come. Routine dental cleaning is an important part of ensuring your pet lives a long, happy life. By getting your dog’s teeth cleaned at least once a year, you can make sure your pet has a clean mouth.

As a veterinarian in Colorado Springs, Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic is here to provide the best dental care for dogs in the Front Range! Our expert veterinary staff has extensive experience working with dogs to keep their mouths clean. From routine cleanings and comprehensive dental exams, our team at Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic is here to help your pet stay healthy. If you are ready to schedule a veterinary dentistry appointment, contact us to get started!

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Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic is seeking an enthusiastic and caring veterinarian to work relief, part-time or full-time in our general practice. PVC is a full-service, 3+ doctor, small-animal veterinary hospital. We have established an excellent reputation for developing lasting relationships with our clients and for providing compassionate and quality care to our patients.